Equality Network launch new Scottish LGBT Sports Charter

Besi Besemar May 7, 2015


Sportscotland, Team Scotland, the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Scottish Athletics, and Waterski Scotland are among the first Scottish sports and governing bodies to sign up to the Charter.

06/05/15.. HAMPDEN - GLASGOW. Equality in practice seminar.
Equality in practice seminar.

LAST week at the home of Scottish Football, Hampden Park, a new Scottish LGBT Sports Charter was launched with the aim of tackling homophobia and transphobia, and better including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, in Scottish sport.

The Charter was developed by the Equality Network, Scotland’s national LGBTI equality and human rights charity, in response to the findings of its Out for Sport report (2012), which found significant barriers for LGBT people participating in Scottish sport and little to no action being taken at the time by sports bodies to reduce those barriers.

To read the report, click here: 

The Charter’s launch took place during the sportscotland national equality seminar; an event bringing together representatives of the sport‚Äôs governing bodies (SGBs) across Scotland.

Three years on leading Scottish sports bodies have demonstrated their commitment to challenging prejudice and better including LGBT people in sport by signing up to the Charter.

The first signatories included Sportscotland, Team Scotland, the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Scottish Athletics, and Waterski Scotland, among other Scottish sports and governing bodies.

It is anticipated that the number of sports governing bodies (SGBs) and other sports bodies signed up to the Charter will increase further over the coming months.

Scott Cuthbertson, Development Coordinator of the Equality Network, said:¬†‚ÄúWe know through our research that LGBT people in Scotland still face significant barriers to full inclusion in sport. The launch of the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter is an important step to addressing those barriers and commits those involved in the delivery of sport to taking practical action to tackle discrimination and increase LGBT involvement. By proactively challenging prejudice whenever it occurs, visibly supporting LGBT inclusion, and training staff in LGBT issues, we know that the efforts of sports bodies will play a crucial role in ensuring that Scottish sport is a safe and welcoming environment for all.‚ÄĚ

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said:¬†‚ÄúAt sportscotland we are building a world class sporting system for everyone in Scotland and we view this charter as an important step in that journey. It is good to see SGBs signing up to this charter and proving their commitment to make sport inclusive and fair.‚ÄĚ

Stewart Regan, Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), added: ‚ÄúThe Scottish FA is proud to sign this charter and is committed to increasing accessibility and opportunities for all. The national sport will work in partnership to engage and inspire the LGBT community.‚ÄĚ

The Equality Network developed the Charter in consultation with¬†SGBs, other sports stakeholders and LGBT people. The Charter commits signatories to taking practical action to ensure that¬†‚ÄúScotland will be a country where everyone can take part, enjoy, and succeed in sport at all levels whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity‚ÄĚ .

It sets out five principles that signatories agree to meet:

1.    Take steps to actively involve LGBT people in sport and visibly support LGBT inclusion and equality.

2.    Challenge homophobic and transphobic behaviour and ensure a positive and welcoming sporting environment for LGBT participants.

3.   Develop policies and practices that are inclusive, informed by a better understanding of the issues and barriers for LGBT people and by taking advantage of training.

4.   Work to further include transgender people in sport by understanding the differing needs for trans participants and begin to reduce the barriers which prevent transgender people from taking part in sport in their acquired gender.

5.   Strive to make continuous improvements to greater include LGBT people in Scottish sport.

The Equality Network provided SGBs with a guidance document explaining the Charter and detailing the recommended actions SGBs can take to meet these principles.

To view guidance, click here: